A Fool There Was (1915 film)

A Fool There Was (1915 film)

Infobox Film
name = A Fool There Was

image_size =
caption = Theda Bara in "A Fool There Was"
director = Frank Powell
producer = William Fox
writer = Roy L. McCardell
Frank Powell
narrator =
starring = Theda Bara
Edward Jose
music =
cinematography =
editing =
distributor = Fox Film Corporation
released = flagicon|US January 1915
runtime = 67 min.
country = flagicon|US U.S.A.
language = Silent film
English intertitles
budget =
gross =
amg_id = 1:91881
imdb_id = 0005339

"A Fool There Was" (1915) is a silent film starring Theda Bara, one of the first sex symbols of the early 20th century. Bara plays a vamp who uses her charms to seduce and corrupt a moral Wall Street lawyer, John Schuyler (Edward Jose). "A Fool There Was" was long considered controversial for such risqué title cards as "Kiss me, my fool!"

"A Fool There Was" was based on a play by Porter Emerson Browne, in turned based on Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Vampire". The producers were keen to pay tribute to their literary source, having a real actor read the full poem to the audience before each initial showing, and presenting passages of the poem throughout the film in intertitles. Bara's official credit is even "The Vampire"; for this reason the film is sometimes cited as the first "vampire" movie.

"A Fool There Was" was also a watershed in early film publicity. At a press conference in January the studio gave an elaborate fictional biography of her, making her an exotic Arabian actress, and presented her in a flamboyant fur outfit. Then they made an intentional leak to the press that the whole thing was a hoax. This may have been one of Hollywood's first publicity stunts.

The film also marked the first onscreen appearance of the popular World War I era film actress May Allison.

This is one of the few films of Theda Bara to still exist. The others are: The Unchastened Woman (1925), The Stain (1914), East Lynne (1916), and two short comedies she made for Hal Roach in the mid-1920s. It showcases Barra's status as the original screen vamp (so named for her now lost portrayal of a female vampire) as she ruins a married diplomat through her sexual enticements.


* Runa Hodges - The Child
* Mabel Frenyear - Kate Schuyler (Fool's wife)
* Edward José - The Husband, John Schuyler
* May Allison - The Wife's Sister
* Clifford Bruce - The Friend, Tom
* Theda Bara - The Vampire
* Victor Benoit - One of Her Victims, Reginal Parmalee
* Frank Powell - The Doctor (as Frank Fowell)
* Minna Gale - The Doctor's Fiancee


Tex Avery directed a 1938 Merrie Melodies cartoon called "A Feud There Was", although the title did not necessarily reference Theda Bara's movie.



External links


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